Final Fantasy XIV producer letter addresses gender-locking and job balance in Shadowbringers

    
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Oh, Thancred, you wild trash fire.

The revelation of having no new healer job and two new gender-locked races added to Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers has prompted no small amount of debate from the playerbase, resulting in producer and director Naoki Yoshida explaining the decision many times over. A new Letter from the Producer (an actual text letter, rather than the far-more-common video letters we’ve had many times) has been penned to specifically explain why these decisions were made in detail, compiled in one spot for easy reference.

In short, if you missed prior explanations: Dancer is ranged DPS because ranged DPS was the only role with only two choices, and the gender-locking was the result of wanting a more diverse style of race while also addressing fan demand for Viera.

The letter also states that while players were told that there would be no headgear including face gear like glasses and masks for Viera and Hrothgar on launch, the modeling team apparently went to work during its spare time to ensure that glasses will be available for both races on launch. Players can also look forward to the next live letter on May 23rd, which will contain all of the information fans have no doubt been waiting for regarding job and ability changes.

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Fouille

I dont mind for the Viera only being female i dont get the whole reaction of not having them in both versions maybe it’s me .

Am sure they will want too please the fans either way because FFXIV is such a great game.

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Khalith .

Yeah I read his response. Unsatisfactory to say the least. Also I’m just going to leave this here because whenever I hear devs mention limited resources this post comes to mind.

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cursedseishi

I still stand by my desire to play as a male Viera like what was teased in the Heavensward concept art…

But honestly? I think maybe they are too focused in sticking to the update cadence that they’ve been running with for years now. Personally, I wouldn’t mind it if they bumped up the updates from their 3.5 month push to a 4-month. Especially since, as it sounds like, the studio is hitting a ceiling on what can and can’t be done in that time frame. Heck, 4.5 would be fine with my casual arse… though I understand that pushing it towards a 4.5-5 month update schedule might be a bit much for some.

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Dagget Burmese

Very in-depth letter, I feel a bit sorry that Yoshi had to divert from his work on the expansion to write such a detailed letter.

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Jack Kerras

I would be a lady Hrothgar in

A NANOSECOND

and I know for a fact that it would mean I have to reroll a character and get through FFXIV’s gargantuan, disgustingly fed-exy, unimaginably time-consuming MSQ, AGAIN, for no fucking reason other than to be a giant buff catwolficorn lady.

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zerohunt

I am glad they are being transparent and upfront about their development decisions. This kind of interaction with any player-base boosts trust and confidence to astronomical levels.

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Syran

The wording in the letter makes it sound like development on XIV will be winding down significantly after Shadowbringers. At least that’s the only way for me to interpret why now would be their “last chance” to add a beast race. They could have just added only Viera now and Hrothgar later, if their release schedule is packed as tight as Yoshi describes it. But I guess they won’t have enough staff to handle adding a new race by the time the next expansion hits.

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zerohunt

It does seem like it but I think it’s mostly the amount of work to add a race that is as detailed as FFFXIV models is enormous. Each armor piece from level 1 to level 80 has to fit in new skeletons and textures of the new races. It is a massive undertaking to take while still producing new raids and gear on a normal scehdule before release.

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cursedseishi

Not even just armor models. Emotes may need adjustment on a race-by-race basis to ensure a Hrothgar chin doesn’t clip through his shoulders while doing the Manderville Mambo, or being sure the race fits proper into cutscene’s camera positioning. While somewhat basic, the game has hundreds and hundreds of cutscenes now and they have the models of your characters running the gambit of expressions, motions, and lighting. Even if it just might need a little touch-up here or there, that is a lot of work to comb and run through.

And the same applies to things they develop from here on out.

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Armsman

Reworking 10,000 plus items for new race models is A LOT of work. Just because they don’t want to do that often for adding new races doesn’t mean they won’t be continuing to add new missions/raids, etc. for players to run.

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Danny Smith

kind of surprised they felt the need to validate the 4th tank and a ranged physical to balance things out. a healer on top would have been nice but they felt like slots that needed filling more while things like WHM need looking at before making any new healers.

But real talk the most important thing: Viera with glasses are justice.

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JonBuck
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JonBuck

The Hrothgar in that screenshot looks considerably better than they did in the announcement video. Very dapper cat.

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cursedseishi

That would most likely be thanks to the fact that the Hrothgar they revealed were a heavily still-in-development model. I remember seeing something a bit ago where the development cadence was pretty much on the razor’s edge against the reveals. The female Viera models, for instance, had only been recently finished when they were revealed… So I wouldn’t be too surprised that the original Hrothgar teaser was done in a similar manner. The Viera shot alone looks better than the reveal after all, and while it was definitely polished up some for the last fan fest, both are looking much more finalized.